Antelope Audio's Pure2 Assists Top Mix Engineer Michael Brauer In Delivering a Deeper, Wider Sonic Picture
Pure2 Mastering AD/DA Converter & Clock Finds a New Home in Brauer's Rack Following Stringent 'Audio Taste Test'
If you ask multiple GRAMMY Award winning mix engineer Michael Brauer what the most indispensable piece of gear in his studio is, he’s unlikely to start rattling off names and model numbers of expensive preamplifiers, compressors, analog consoles or other equipment. Instead, he will almost without hesitation point to his ears. After getting his start at MediaSound Studios in 1976, one of the first things he learned is that perception is reality — and that ‘trusting your ears’ is far more important than equipment specifications, brand reputation or marketing hyperbole.
While it may sound cliche, this approach of ‘trusting your ears’ is at the core of everything Brauer does —whether it is choosing a new piece of equipment for his studio, upgrading his monitoring system or mixing a GRAMMY Award winning album for Coldplay. While Brauer is a New Yorker through and through, he is known for possessing a certain Missourian ‘show me’ cynicism when it comes to adding new gear to his rack set up.
This year, when Antelope Audio introduced its Pure2, Brauer was among the first to acquire the unit, following a ‘blind audio taste test.’ While he was already a happy user of Antelope’s renowned Trinity / 10M combination, Brauer displayed a healthy skepticism when Antelope approached him to try the Pure2. The manufacturer was given no incumbent bias or advantage, despite having been a friend of Antelope for many years.
Another Leap Forward in Sonic Picture
“Once I heard about the Pure2 converter, I was convinced that I should take a look,” he recalls. “I really like the one that I have, but I put them up against each other, and the Pure2 sounded more open, and deeper in sound, which was really nice. The difference was very noticeable — you cold feel that the sonic picture got bigger. So I was like, ‘OK, I’m sold.’ Now I am using the Pure2 for all my conversion.”
Brauer has recognized other sonic ‘leaps’ by Antelope in the past, and upgraded his gear accordingly. “The same thing happened when I added the 10M to the Antelope Isochrone OCX, which I loved. Adding that 10M drastically improved the depth, the width and the height of my mixes,” he says. “In this case, the difference was more subtle, but was immediately apparent by A/B-ing the converters against each other.”
This particular test with the Pure2 was set up in a characteristically impartial manner, without predisposition. “It was a blind taste test and I didn’t know which was which,” he says. “We cycled from one image to the other, and I said, ‘This is the one I like’ — and it was the Pure2. It is a very nice addition to the Trinity and 10M combo, which I continue to use for master clocking.”
Pure2: Musical and Transparent Conversion
When describing its sound, Brauer offers that ‘it is very musical and transparent’ and says that it is another useful tool for him to arrive at the sound he is looking for — no matter what genre he is working in. “Does it feel better to me and do I prefer a larger sonic image? Does it enhance the feel I am trying to get? The answer is yes. It delivers a natural, ‘unprocessed’ sound that seems to reach out further behind the speakers — in every direction.”
In terms of functionality, the Pure2 has many features Brauer finds useful, including the ability to check the calibration with the atomic clock, which is done by simply holding down the power button: “Being able to automatically calibrate this is a nice touch and something we use every day. We also like the seamless integration with the Pure2 software panel.”
Brauer, who scooped up two GRAMMY Awards last year, mixed recent releases by Elle King (“Ex’s &Oh’s”) and James Bay (“Hold Back the River”), both of which are available now.
For more information on the Pure2, please visit: http://www.antelopeaudio.com/en/products/pure2-mastering-ad-da-converter-and-clock